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New Release Review - The Truth About Romance

young man's life is changed after meeting an adventurous girl.
*Film-maker James G Wall has uploaded the movie for free viewing on YouTube. Click here to view.

Directed by: James G Wall
Starring: Jordan Greenhough, Danielle Jackson, Craig Asquith


When big budget romantic comedies come out, you usually know what to expect; random star meets random star and, through mostly unrealistic means, they end up together, despite superficial odds. The few that break this mold, or maybe even the ones that feature your favorite stars doing things you only wish you could, are the only ones that stick around in your head after, otherwise they just become white noise that is forgotten before even leaving the theater.
On the other hand, anything within the imagination of the filmmakers is possible when they aren't under the cloud of big budget studios. Meaning, films with less means are, in a way, more dangerous because they have more to prove, and when they don’t have name actors to rely on, they need to work harder to create characters that are real and identifiable in stories that are true to life. Personally, films where characters don’t end where you originally expect have always felt more real and have had a bigger impact on me than those where everything always works out perfectly. Life doesn’t always work out.
Enter ‘The Truth About Romance’, a film that primarily follows Josh (Greenhough), an overly cautious guy who is left heartbroken after missing his shot with a woman he has loved for years. In his time of agony, Josh seeks advice from his best friend, Chris (Asquith), who has his own relationship problems that seem to stem from his idea that things should be better even though he has no idea how to make them better. Then, almost serendipitous-like, Josh meets Emily (Jackson), a beautiful, spontaneous and adventurous girl who, at first, seems to be “the one,” but, as the film continues, it becomes clear that she is more of a life muse, and after their weekend together Josh becomes enlightened.
While each character is familiar and is easy to associate with people in your own life, the illusion is easily broken when you try to get into the characters' head-space because, in actuality, you don't know much about them at all. Yes, you may feel for the woman who was cheated on or the guy who always seems down because relationships never seem to work out, but that probably has more to do with you knowing people who have been through similar circumstances, rather than how well the actors portray their characters' pain. Blue Valentine’, it feels genuine and true to the characters involved.
Because of this, the template characters used end up doing most of the work required to get the ideals of the film across rather than the actual actors themselves. This, unfortunately, is like a double edged sword in that they at least get the point of the film across but, because the characters aren't very memorable and an emotional connection is never established, the film ends up falling flat. On the positive side, the music and script are the best forces driving a film that does have a couple of intriguing perspectives on life and romance, and I especially like the fact that the filmmakers decided to end things the way they did because, while the reality aspect isn’t as hard-hitting as the likes of ‘Blue Valentine,’ it feels genuine and true to the characters involved.
4/10


Andy Comer

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